Chocolate Stout Cheesecake
This super rich and decadent Guinness chocolate cheesecake is for all you chocolate lovers out there like me who can’t resist any dessert that has chocolate in it. For me it has to be dark chocolate. The darker the better - I don’t have a sweet tooth but when it comes to chocolate I can’t resist. This satisfies all chocolate cravings and not only does it have a super rich creamy thick chocolate filling but also a chocolate cookie base and if you want it to be a little extra do include the rich chocolate ganache over it. It’s optional but recommended.
Lets talk about the cookie base. Well it’s that simple I used Oreo cookies and butter and you have your base. You basically just crush the cookies into crumbs using a food processor or blender or if you have neither use the old tried and true method of placing them in a ziplock bag and using your rolling pin over them to crush them. Stir some melted butter in and then press into the pan. Easy and perfect for this chocolatey dessert. Chocolate wafer cookies would work too but I don’t always find them. I just saw some prepackaged chocolate cookie crumbs at the grocery store today and those would work too. You could even just use plain graham cracker crumbs too for a plain base with no chocolate. It’s totally up to you. I went full force chocolate with this one. Lets talk more about the ingredients in this rich chocolate Guinness Cheesecake
Guinees Cheesecake Ingredients:
- Chocolate - I prefer bittersweet/dark chocolate because I love that rich flavour combined with the stout but for a sweeter and lighter cocoa flavour use semisweet chocolate
- Oreo cookies - made into fine crumbs using food processor (as noted above) for a nice chocolate base for this cheese cake
- Melted butter - unsalted for the crust
- Cream Cheese - Room temperature and I prefer to use all fat cream cheese for the best flavour - best not to skimp
- Sugar - 1 cup is what I prefer for just enough sweetness but if you prefer it sweeter feel free to increase amount a little
- Heavy Whipping Cream - adds richness to the cheesecake and helps in softening the texture of the cheese and adding some moisture.
- Sour Cream - For a smooth and creamy cheesecake. Most cheesecake recipes use either heavy cream or sour cream; and this one has a little of both. it also helps soften the texture and moisture to the filling
- Vanilla Extract - always adds the perfect flavour
- Guinness Beer - I like to use extra stout but feel free to use any stout beer for this recipe (some recipes call for simmering the whole can of beer in a small pot over medium heat until it’s reduced to 3/4 cups for a richer more intense flavour but that is optional - feel free to do so if you would like just make to allow it to cool to room temperature before adding it to the batter)
- Eggs - Room temperature.Three whole eggs hold the cheesecake together. This is quite a rich and heavy like cheesecake but if you prefer a softer texture feel free to add an extra yolk, which enhances the cake’s velvety texture. (Whites tend to lighten the cake, which is actually fine — if you don’t feel like separating that fourth egg and don’t mind some extra airiness in the texture, just add in the whole egg.)
That amazing chocolate and Guinness cheesecake filling
This is where it gets fun because this is where we added the stout beer! Why you ask use a perfectly good drinking beer in cheesecake? Why use a perfectly good wine in sauces? The answer is they are both flavour boosters. They enhance the flavours in a recipe and add a richness to them. Like coffee, extracts and salt enhance the flavour of chocolate and sweets overall so does stout beer. You won’t taste the beer taste at all, it’s merely a richness that enhances my love of chocolate and deepens the flavours overall. The stout beer adds that bitter sweet note to the dark chocolate flavor. Feel free to enjoy the rest of the can while you bake off the cheesecake.
How to Make Guinness Cheesecake - Step by Step:
- Melt the chocolate then set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the cheesecake
- Prepare Crust - combine crust ingredients and press into the bottom of springform pan. Bake then cool
- Make Filling - Mix the cream cheese, sugar, and salt. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla, heavy cream, and, and melted chocolate. Mix in the eggs (and yolk if using extra one) one at a time - Wait until the previous egg is just barely mixed into the batter before adding the next one. Stir a few times by hand. Scrape down the beater and sides of the bowl with a spatula, to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Mix in the Guinness
- Pour the batter over the cooled crust
- Transfer the pan to the water bath - helps cheesecake bake evenly
- Bake the cheesecake - The cheesecake is done when the outer two to three inches look slightly puffed and set, but the inner circle still jiggles slightly when you gently shake the pan. Some spots of toasted golden color are fine, but if you see any cracks starting to form, move on to the next step right away.
- Cool the cheesecake in the oven- Leave the cheesecake in the oven. Turn off the oven and crack the door open or prop it open with a wooden spoon. Let the cheesecake cool slowly for 30min - 1 hour. Then remove from oven and from water bath and place on cooling rack and allow to come to room temperature.
- Chill the cheesecake for 4-8 hours in the refrigerator. This step is crucial for letting the cheesecake set and achieving perfect cheesecake texture. Chilled cheesecake can be stored for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- Make Ganache Topping and Top the cheesecake and serve. Take the cheesecake out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you plan to serve. Un-mold the cake and top the cheesecake ganache or whipped cream or other and some chocolate shavings
Tips on making the perfect cheesecake every time
- Always use room temp cream cheese, eggs, heavy cream and sour cream - softened cream cheese and room temperature ingredients blend better with the other ingredients in the recipe. If the cream cheese is too cold, your mix will be lumpy, and so will your finished cake.
- Don’t over mix the batter. The cream cheese and sugar can be mixed well and for a bit but once you start adding the rest of the ingredients only mix until incorporated remembering to scrape the side of bowl a few times.
- I always use a water bath - I prefer it over the steam method. It’s a technique of putting your cake pan in a container/pan of water while baking. The water helps the heat disperse evenly, resulting in an evenly baked cake without cracks. Evenly baking and not over baking along with cooling the cake gradually also ensures that your cake is crackless. The cake should have a slight jiggle in the middle when it’s done baking.
- The cake should be room temperature before placing in the fridge. This helps prevent cracks but prevents too much condensation from forming, which makes for blotches and gummy texture on top.
- Beat on Low Speed: once you have creamed the cream cheese and sugar reduce the speed on your mixer to low speed. In order to minimize the amount of air you’re beating into your filling, keep the mixer on low speed. This helps prevent cracking.
How to Store Cheesecake
Store leftover cheesecake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy the cheesecake within 4-5 days for the best results. It lasts well, making it great for making ahead.
Can I Freeze Cheesecake?
You can definitely freeze cheesecake. This cheesecake freezes well for up to 2 months. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and freeze. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving. You can freeze individual slices the same way as well.
There you have it - you are on your way to making a decadent cheesecake and armed with some tips to getting it right everytime. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments below. The good thing about a ganache over any cheesecake or any cake for that matter is it covers a multitude of “evils” or cracks. So don’t beat yourself up if you get a crack or two. They will be hidden and don’t change a thing when it comes to the taste of the cheesecake. I still have some of this beauty in the fridge so excuse me while I grab a slice ad enjoy every bite of it!
If You Liked This Recipe You Will Love These:
For the cookie crust
- 1 regular size pack of Oreo cookies (approx 36)
- 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
- 12 oz chocolate, chopped (use bittersweet or dark chocolate or semisweet for a sweeter cheesecake filling)
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 3 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup Guinness or any Stout beer
For the ganache
- 1⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chopped fine (approx 8 oz)
- 1¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature cut into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap a 9” spring form pan really well in layers of heavy-duty tin foil at least 3-4 sheets and lightly grease the pan with non-stick spray; set aside.
- Make the crust: Add the Oreos to a blender or food processor and pulse until the cookies are fine crumbs. Dump into a bowl and stir in the melted butter, mixing well to combine. Empty the mixture into the prepared pan, pressing the crust down firmly and slightly up the sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes then remove and allow to cool while you prepare the filling.
- Make the filling: In a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate and heavy cream, stirring together until combined. Set aside and allow to cool. (you can also melt the chocolate in the microwave in short 30 second burst stirring in between)
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese, rich of salt and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce speed to low speed on mixer. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla extract, chocolate/cream mixture, followed but the eggs one at a time mixing batter well between each and lastly the guinness until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Pour this mixture into the prepared springform pan and place pan in a large baking pan (with high sides) and fill the pan halfway with hot water; this is your water bath.
- Bake: Place cheesecake in preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit for 45 minutes inside the oven with a wooden spoon in the oven door to hold it slightly ajar.
- Remove from oven and water bath and allow cheesecake to rest on the counter for 30 minutes before covering with plastic wrap cheesecake chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. When ready to serve run a knife along the edges of the cheesecake and pan before removing the sides of the pan then pour the ganache on top of the uncut cheesecake and place it back in the fridge for 10 minutes for it to set.
- Make the ganache (if using): Add the chocolate to a large, heatproof bowl; set aside. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium-heat just until it begins to bubble around the edges; about 2 minutes. Remove the cream from heat and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let the chocolate and warm cream stand untouched for 1 minute, then whisk it together until the chocolate melts and a smooth ganache forms; about 2 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated. Set it aside to cool to room temperature then pour it over the cheesecake, and let stand 20-30 minutes until set at room temp or 10 minutes if it’s in the fridge.
- Feel free to swap a little of the heavy cream in the ganache with baileys Irish cream to make a Irish cream ganache
- This cheesecake would also be great with dollops of whipped cream - if you are whipping up your own you can add a shot of baileys Irish cream to make make a Irish whipping cream